ARC Mini Review – The Dragon’s Promise

Hello, everyone! Today I’m reviewing The Dragon’s Promise by Elizabeth Lim. I loved Six Crimson Cranes, and after the cliffhanger, I was especially glad to have the eARC of this one so I could jump right into it.

From the New York Times Bestselling author of Six Crimson Cranes comes a thrilling new adventure! A journey to the kingdom of dragons, a star-crossed love, and a cursed pearl with the power to mend the world or break it… Fans of Shadow and Bone will devour this soaring fantasy.

Princess Shiori made a deathbed promise to return the dragon’s pearl to its rightful owner, but keeping that promise is more dangerous than she ever imagined.

She must journey to the kingdom of dragons, navigate political intrigue among humans and dragons alike, fend off thieves who covet the pearl for themselves and will go to any lengths to get it, all while cultivating the appearance of a perfect princess to dissuade those who would see her burned at the stake for the magic that runs in her blood.

The pearl itself is no ordinary cargo; it thrums with malevolent power, jumping to Shiori’s aid one minute, and betraying her the next—threatening to shatter her family and sever the thread of fate that binds her to her true love, Takkan. It will take every ounce of strength Shiori can muster to defend the life and the love she’s fought so hard to win.

***Thank you to Knopf Books for Young Readers for providing a copy of the book via NetGalley! My review contains my honest thoughts about my reading experience.***

I loved the first book in this duology. So, I was excited to jump into this sequel. There was a lot to like in this one, as well, but it didn’t all come together as well as I’d hoped it would. The characters were still my favorite part, and they were as entertaining and vibrant as ever. The family dynamic was fun to read, once again, and the romance between Shiori and Takkan was cute and endearing. There was a hint of a love triangle involving Seryu, but it didn’t take up as much space in the story as I expected. In fact, after the first third of the book was done, he was pretty much absent from the story. That brings me to the thing that ultimately didn’t work for me about this book. The story felt a bit disjointed and mashed together, almost like it was multiple story ideas that got pushed together. I enjoyed each story thread, though, for the most part. Visiting the different locales was a lot of fun, and there was plenty of fast-paced action and interesting mythological elements. In the last 20% of the book, it just became a bit too frenetic, and there were times the plot felt really forced. For example, there was a pivotal moment where one of the characters came up with a solution on the spot that didn’t make much sense, and no explanation was given for how the character figured it out or why the solution worked. For most of the last 15% of the book, I also couldn’t help feeling that it should have ended already, but I think that is because there were so many story threads it felt like the book could have had at least three or four different stopping points before finally reaching the end. All in all, this was still a really fun read, but it didn’t quite reach the level of its predecessor because the plot wasn’t nearly as tight. Therefore, I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

6 thoughts on “ARC Mini Review – The Dragon’s Promise

  1. Six Crimson Cranes was one of my favorite books of all time, so seeing how many people are somewhat conflicted with the sequel makes me a bit hesitant to read it. Still, this was a great review! I’ll make sure to keep it in mind when I pick up The Dragon’s Promise.

    Liked by 1 person

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